Boise ID Sept 18 2021 In the latest blow in the state’s battle with COVID-19, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Thursday that it has activated crisis standards of care for the entire state.
The request to expand crisis standards beyond North Idaho was made by St. Luke’s Health System. St. Luke’s has major hospitals in Boise and Meridian.
Crisis standards of care were created in June 2020 as a plan to strategically ration health care if hospitals become overwhelmed with the demands in front of them.
When crisis standards are implemented, hospital beds may not be available to someone who needs it, or beds could be in repurposed rooms not typically used for medical treatment.
Crisis care standards mean hospitals must prioritize patients differently.
Typically, a hospital prioritizes those who need medical attention most and treats them first. When crisis standards are activated, health care is given to patients who are most likely to survive.
Health and Welfare said the following in its Thursday news release: “In other words, someone who is otherwise healthy and would recover more rapidly may get treated or have access to a ventilator before someone who is not likely to recover.”
“The situation is dire — we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident,” IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen said in a news release Thursday.
Each hospital will implement its own crisis standards of care policies as needed, according to Health and Welfare. If a hospital is managing under its current circumstances, it can continue to operate in that way.